Can a co-pilot fly an airplane

What is the difference between a captain and a pilot?

We have all heard the sentence “This is your captain speaking” over the loudspeaker system in the aircraft (often followed by an announcement about late arrival times). But what is the difference between a captain and a pilot?

Pilot is a job title and does not require any qualifications or rank.

Commercial pilots have either acquired a commercial pilot's license, a CPL (Commercial Pilot’s License) or a commercial pilot's license, the ATPL (Air Transport Pilot License). This distinguishes commercial pilots from amateur pilots who have a PPL, a private pilot license.

An aircraft must always have a nominated pilot who bears overall responsibility for the aircraft. That pilot is the captain.

An airline or private jet pilot who has newly acquired his license is initially called a "First Officer" or "First Officer". Later he becomes a Senior First Officer ’before he can become a captain after captain training. In the military, the first officers ’are called co-pilots.

In Europe it is a legal requirement that at least 2 pilots must be on board on every charter flight in a private jet. One of the pilots will take full responsibility for the aircraft on the flight - this is the captain. When both pilots have completed their captaincy training and are appropriately qualified, one of the two will take responsibility as the pilot.

The flight résumé of our CEO Adam Twidell exemplifies the development from pilot to first officer to captain:

Captain Adam Twidell:

1990 - Joined the Royal Air Force as a cadet pilot at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland
1994 - Commissioned with the Royal Air Force
1996 - Qualified pilot
1997 - Co-pilot on the C130 Hercules
1999 - Captain on the C130 Hercules
2004 - First Officer for NetJets on the Citation XL
2005 - First Officer for Netjets on the Citation XLS
2006 - Founds PrivateFly (but continues to fly the Citation XLS - as captain)

If you have any further questions about PrivateFly or topics related to private aviation, please give us a call +49 3222 1090 678 or contact us online.